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LSU Freshman Spotlight: Jamal Adams

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Jamal Adams, a 6-foot, 207-pound hard-hitting, all-ranging safety from Carrollton, Texas is a versatile freshman who should get plenty of snaps and could play a key role for the LSU football team this season. In his last two high school seasons, Adams had 138 tackles, seven interceptions, four passes defensed, rushed for 453 yards and 11 touchdowns and had 19 catches for 477 yards and nine touchdowns.

Les Miles on ESPN’s Car Wash: Live Updates

Les Miles is spending the day going through ESPN's Car Wash.

Les Miles is spending the day going through ESPN’s Car Wash.

LSU coach Les Miles is spending the day in Bristol, Conn., for a five-hour tour at ESPN studios, making appearances on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.

Here’s how Miles’ day has gone so far:

9:20 a.m. – Miles makes an appearance on ESPN’s Sportscenter.

  • Miles was asked most of the general questions, including whether or not he was concerned with the loss of so many upperclassmen to the 2014 NFL draft. “That’s still about the people that are returning,” Miles said. “Our youth is going to be talented. With recruiting, we recruit what is a great opportunity. The freshman class that comes in at LSU anticipates playing.”
  • One battle Miles has had to constantly address is the QB battle between  freshman Brandon Harris and sophomore Anthony Jennings.  “Both guys have strong arms. Both guys can move their feet,” Miles said. “I think it’s going to come down to the execution of the offense. I think it’s going to take some time.”
  • Miles on whether or not he’s concerned with few people picking LSU to win the Southeastern Conference: “We’ve really given no credence to who ranks anybody where. I’m sure nobody picked Auburn a year ago. “We’re a very talented, young team,” Miles said. “We’ll just play our first opponent and go from there.”
  • Also, Miles said he got a little grief from his family after his comments about Austin, Texas, at SEC media days. “That was one of the most enjoyable times, and we did have a magnificent time in Austin,” Miles said. “I’ll be honest, though, I was still looking for the beach out there.”
Photo from Miles' family vacation in Austin, Texas, that was shown on Sportscenter.

Photo from Miles’ family vacation in Austin, Texas, that was shown on Sportscenter.

 

9:40 a.m. – Miles joins the panel on ESPN’s First Take

  • The first question Miles faced dealt with the new college football playoff. Miles said he believes an SEC champion should be a part of that format. “If you look at the history of the SEC, those teams who get through a full season, win their division, play for a championship and win, they really set the bar that they’re ready to play for a championship and win,” Miles said. “I think it tests us. I would suggest that the champion of the SEC be in that playoff.”
  • Miles compared freshman running back Leonard Fournette to Michael Jordan at SEC media days. He had more praise for the five-star recruit on Monday. “I think he’ll end up being a leader,” Miles said. “I think he’ll be a guy you can turn to and go to in key situations. I promise you, this guy is all we can expect him to be. We’re not ready to put the expectations so far out there that he never gets to that.”
  • Regarding playing SEC teams like Alabama every season, Miles said LSU’s schedule makes his squad a battle-tested group.  “We really enjoy competing against Alabama, and I think Coach Saban has done a great job there,” Miles said. “Any time you raise the bar, the teams in the conference are called to task. If you look at our conference, the idea that you line up against those guys…is marked on the calendar, and it’s awfully important.”

11:30 a.m. – Miles joins Numbers Never Lie on ESPN2

  • Just after joining the panel on ESPN2, Miles was offered a plate of grass to taste (as he’s famous for doing), but the Tigers’ coach quickly declined. That being said, he did offer one tip. “I’m afraid I can’t because it’s a game day thing,” Miles said. “You’re looking for the bottom end of the piece, then you clean the stem. And that’s it.”
  • Miles commented on why so many juniors leave for the NFL draft. LSU had a handful of Tigers from the 2013 roster move to the pro level during the offseason. “I think there’s something we invest in our players both in the weight room and in the style of practice and who we are as a culture that make them very attractive to the NFL,” Miles said. “The opportunity to leave early is certainly something that needs to be reviewed.
  • Before leaving the set, Miles offered his views one what it means to be a winner. “Winning is a thing that is inherent with how you were raised,” Miles said. “It’s something that you carry with you for a lifetime. To pretend that it’s deposited at a place and left, it is not. It’s always carried with the participants of the people that are there.”

11:45 a.m. – Miles joins Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio

  • With both Nick Saban and Miles being regarded as premier recruiters in the SEC West, Cowherd asked if Miles had ever run into his Alabama counterpart while visiting prospects. “I cannot tell you that I’ve crossed paths with Coach Saban (while recruiting),” Miles said. “I know we’ve recruited the same guys. It would be met with very cordial greeting (if it were to happen).”
  • Staying on the topic of Saban, Miles spoke highly of the Alabama head coach, saying the Crimson Tide consistently provide the Tigers with a challenge every season.  Also, Miles said he doesn’t mind that the media holds Saban on a pedestal. “I can tell you that the job he’s done has certainly challenged LSU,” Miles said. “There’s no begrudging a position that appears the media has anointed one. We look forward to playing them. I promise you there’s no position that’s not assailable by quality play.”
  • When asked if his antics were done for show, Miles said he simply does what he feels it takes to achieve success. “I see the things that I do being done on a routine basis in the NFL, at the high school ranks and in other collegiate programs,” Miles said. “It’s about playing to win. If you know you’re in a position where you have to do some things that weren’t necessarily prescribed in the coaching manual, I’m for that.”

12:30 p.m. – Miles joins the SVP and Russillo show on ESPN Radio

  • With two young quarterbacks battling for the starting job, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will have a challenge on his hands throughout fall camp. Miles said he’s the perfect man to handle the situation. “(Cameron is) a mentor of quarterbacks over time,” Miles said. “He’s wise, and he knows what to ask them to do and what not to ask them to do. We didn’t recruit guys who weren’t good. They’re in the position now to take steps.”
  • Once again, Miles had praise to give to freshman running back Leonard Fournette. “The best thing about him is he’s humble in his approach,” Miles said. “He’s not in a hurry. That’s who he’s got to be if he wants to play his best and contribute the most as a true freshman.”
  • Before leaving, Miles had a little fun with his answers after being asked how we would recruit Wolverine from X-Men. ”We need you on our football team,” Miles said. “We’re going to have to keep those spikes in your hands, but we might find a lot of things for Wolverine to do.”

1:30 p.m. – Les Miles joins College Football Live

  • Miles joined the College Football Live crew earlier in the day, and he made a brief TV appearance when the program aired at 1:30 p.m. Miles said he doesn’t care about where his team is predicted to finish in the SEC West. It all comes down to execution. “It will always be decided by that team that has a single mind and a focus toward improvement and looking at things in a very pragmatic way,” Miles said. “It’s about one practice, one period… get something done with purpose.”

Les Miles on ESPN’s Car Wash on Monday

LSU coach Les Miles will participate in ESPN's Car Wash on Monday.

LSU coach Les Miles will participate in ESPN’s Car Wash on Monday.

How will you use Leonard Fournette?

Who wins the quarterback battle?

How many freshmen will you play?

LSU coach Les Miles will hear more questions about his team Monday during a five-hour tour at ESPN studios.

The coach will participate in the network’s Car Wash with six other coaches from the Southeastern Conference. Here’s the full schedule:

Time Platform

  • 9 a.m. ESPN.com
  • 9:20 a.m. SportsCenter
  • 9:40 a.m. First Take
  • 10 a.m. College Football Roundtable
  • 10:55 a.m. SEC Network Talkbacks
  • 11:10 a.m. Highly Questionable
  • 11:30 a.m. Numbers Never Lie
  • 11:45 a.m. Colin Cowherd Radio Show
  • 11:55 a.m. SEC Film Room
  • 12:10 p.m. College Football Live
  • 12:25 p.m. SVP & Russillo
  • 12:45 p.m. E:60
  • 1:15 p.m. SportsNation
  • 1:40 p.m College Gameday / SEC Thematic Shoot
  • 2p.m. ESPN Images

Fan day set for Aug. 10

LSU’s annual fan day has been scheduled for Aug. 10 at the Maravich Assembly Center and the Carl Maddox Field House, the school announced Friday.

LSU fan day this year is set for Aug. 10. (PATRICK DENNIS)

LSU fan day this year is set for Aug. 10. (PATRICK DENNIS)

Players will sign autographs and meet with fans from 5-6:30 p.m.

LSU coach Les Miles, the offense and the offensive coaching staff will be in the Maddox Field House, while the defense, defensive staff and special teams will be located in the Maravich Center.

Fans can meet the LSU soccer and volleyball teams that day. The soccer team will sign autographs and meet with fans from 4-5 p.m. at the Maravich Center, while the volleyball team will be located at the Maddox Field House.

The LSU cheerleaders, Tiger Girls and Mike the Tiger will meet fans for autographs and pictures from 4 -6 p.m. at the Maddox Field House and the Maravich Assembly Center.

The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive an LSU Fan Day gift bag featuring the popular football placard poster and sample products from various LSU corporate partners. 2014 LSU football posters will be available for fans in each facility.

The Mike’s Kids Club Fan Zone will be located inside the Maddox Field House where young tiger fans can register to become a member of this unique club. Mike’s Kids Club members can purchase a one-time membership fee of $15.

No coolers or chairs will be allowed into either facility and fans are limited to one autograph item per person.

LSU opens football practice Aug. 4.

High Five: Mark Stoops

imagesHigh Five is a post this week wrapping up, in five nuggets, each coach’s address to reporters during his time at the podium at SEC media days.

After going winless in SEC play last season, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has plenty of problems to solve heading into the 2014 campaign.

Here’s his High Five:

  • Whenever college sports fans think of Kentucky, the first thought tends to be about the Wildcats’ basketball program. Stoops said he’s well aware of the other sport on campus, and he’s often reminded of its success. “We know [Kentucky fans] love their basketball, as they should,” Stoops said. “That program has been good for a long, long time. So we have a deep tradition in basketball, and we embrace that.”
  • Alvin Dupree, a senior defensive end for the Wildcats who made an appearance at SEC media days on Wednesday, is expected to be a leader in the trenches for Kentucky heading into the 2014 campaign. Stoops had nothing but praise for his defensive veteran. “[Alvin] is extremely versatile,” Stoops said. “He’s very good with his hand in the dirt playing defensive end, but you can also stand him up and move him around a little bit in the 3-4 and play some linebacker.”
  • Though the Wildcats finished 2-10 in 2013, Stoops was still able to bring in a top-25 recruiting class. “The recruiting is awfully important to us,” Stoops said. “That’s where it starts. You’ve got to have great players. I think most of our prospects we were recruiting knew we were in for a rebuild.”
  • Even with the challenges ahead, Stoops said he’s still motivated every day to bring Kentucky back into relevance in the SEC. “It’s a great challenge to be here and to be in this league,” Stoops said. “You better wake up in the morning getting it. You better wake up getting going and recruiting great players and developing the players you have. So that’s motivation enough for me right there.”
  • Lastly, Stoops said he’s been impressed with redshirt freshman quarterback Reese Phillips, and he could come out ahead in the fall QB battle. “He was a guy throughout spring that may have been the most consistent,” Stoops said. “He was a guy that just did a nice job of managing the offense and staying away from negative plays.  [I’ve been] very impressed with Reese.”

High Five: Nick Saban

imagesHigh Five is a post this week wrapping up, in five nuggets, each coach’s address to reporters during his time at the podium at SEC media days.

Nick Saban is no stranger to SEC media days, and his squad is predicted to be the SEC champion as the assembly in Hoover comes to a close.

Here’s his High Five:

  • The 2013 campaign provided an unusual outcome for the Crimson Tide under Nick Saban: they closed the season out with two straight losses. Auburn defeated Alabama 34-28 on the final week of the regular season, then Oklahoma provided an upset in the Sugar Bowl with a 45-31 victory over Saban’s squad. Now heading into 2014, there are a number of questions in need of answering. “We’re basically an unproven team in some areas,” Saban said. “There’s a lot of question marks because of the players that we lost and the players that we have coming in.”
  • If there’s one consistent negative that’s plagued the Crimson Tide over the past few seasons, it  has been the special teams unit. To counter this issue, Saban announced that Alabama will have two new specialists. The program brought in a freshman punter, and sophomore Adam Griffith will be the new field goal kicker. Griffith redshirted as a freshman and went one-for-three in his chances in 2013.
  • During the offseason, Saban added former USC head coach Lane Kiffin to his arsenal to be the new Crimson Tide offensive coordinator. “The more experience that your staff has, obviously I think the better they understand the big picture and have the kind of foresight that you need to have that you know when you make changes, what the cause and effect of those changes are going to be,” Saban said. “Lane certainly has been helpful in a lot of those areas.”
  • With the loss of former quarterback A.J. McCarron, Alabama currently has a hole at quarterback that needs to be filled. The front-runner appears to be transfer Jake Coker, who played at Florida State before joining Alabama. “I think every quarterback has to go through sort of a process of development because three things that are critical factors to me at quarterback is decision making, processing information quickly, making quick, good decisions,” Saban said.
  • Saban’s press conference ended with the coach refuting any claims of him making negotiations with the University of Texas. Saban’s name has been tossed around the rumor mill in recent months with his connections to possibly joining the Longhorns. Saban said he’s not interested in moving. “Well, I didn’t have any conversations with them,” Saban said. “Nobody offered me anything.  So I guess if I didn’t have any conversations with them, I didn’t have very much interest.”

High Five: Hugh Freeze

imagesHigh Five is a post this week wrapping up, in five nuggets, each coach’s address to reporters during his time at the podium at SEC media days.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has QB Bo Wallace returning in 2014, and he’ll be hoping to finally make an impact in the SEC West.

Here’s his High Five:

  • Freeze’s progression as Ole Miss’ head coach has been steady – the Rebels have improved one game every season since his arrival. That being said, Freeze wanted to have reached a bowl game by this point. “To be very candid, I think the journey that we’ve been on, I think it’s faster than I thought possible,” Freeze. “When I first arrived there, I really thought we would be going to hopefully a bowl game in year three.  We were able to do that in year one and two, and win both of them.”
  • The Rebels will open the season playing in two NFL stadiums, the Georgia Dome and LP Field (Nashville, Tenn.). Freeze said it was an honor for his squad to be able to play on the big stage not once, but twice.  I think opening up in the Chick‑Fil‑A game in Atlanta where we recruit extremely hard, playing in the Georgia Dome where every SEC team wants to end their season, I think it’s very important. We get to open college football.”
  • Of all the SEC passing leaders who left for the NFL draft, one remained in 2014. Bo Wallace heads into his senior season after throwing for 3346 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, and he’s currently among the front-runners to be a conference First-Team selection. “He’s just been overshadowed by some really good players,” Freeze said. “Continue to cut down on his turnovers, make sure he’s making smart plays most of the time. The guy has a chance to own every passing record in Ole Miss history before he leaves there.”
  • Freeze also mentioned how he’ll be looking for an improvement in the pass rush when the squad opens up on Aug. 28 against Boise State.  “Getting C.J. Johnson back helps us.  When we lost him, it certainly changed us some,” Freeze said. “Marquis Haynes I’m really excited about also. But you’ve got to have some speed guys that can give you some great rush in this league.”
  • On a lighter note, Freeze mentioned a certain bet between himself, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. The SEC trio met on a golf course for a speedy, but costly round. We played in under three hours,” Freeze said. “My hair is quite shorter than normal today.  Spurrier takes credit for that.  If he won our match, come to Media Day, you had to buzz cut your hair, so that’s why my hair is so short today.”

High Five: Mark Richt

imagesHigh Five is a post this week wrapping up, in five nuggets, each coach’s address to reporters during his time at the podium at SEC media days.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt won’t have QB Aaron Murray anymore, but he’ll still have his fair share of offensive weapons in his arsenal.

Here’s his High Five:

  • Offensively, Georgia may still have RB Todd Gurley on the roster, but it will be without its former star quarterback, Aaron Murray. Murray, who passed for 3075 yards and 26 touchdowns while rushing for 186 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, was a leader both on the field and in the locker room during his tenure with the Bulldogs. That being said, head coach Mark Richt isn’t worried about the potential drop off in production. “The blessing for us is Hutson Mason being in the program going into his fifth season, a guy that got to watch Aaron’s work ethic, to see how he ran the off‑season program, how he would organize pass skeleton and those types of things,” Richt said. “Just the fact that Hutson has the respect of his teammates, the confidence of his teammates and coaches, to take on that leadership role.”
  • Back to Mason, Richt said he was never worried about losing the fifth-year senior, and he was more than happy to hear about his return to the program in 2014. “As we just went through the process of what it might look like, as we get to this point now, at one time when he was deciding should [Mason] stay, should he go, Murray could have left after his junior year, given him two years a start,” Richt said.  “That was a possibility.”
  • With the number of stud quarterbacks that left the SEC during the offseason, many wonder how the position will perform overall on each respective squad. Richt said he’s excited about the new names that could spring up throughout the upcoming year. “I wouldn’t count out the quarterbacks in this league to play great,” Richt said. “It’s an unknown quantity of guys.  You don’t know exactly what’s going to happen with these guys.  I wouldn’t say that the quarterback play is going to be down.  We’ll just have to wait and see.”
  • Though Richt doesn’t support a league-wide drug policy, Georgia has been known as one of the tougher enforcers in the conference. Richt said there’s a reason why he’s strict with his players.  “We don’t want our guys to do drugs, okay?  I don’t want my son to do drugs,” Richt said. “We’ve got policies that are stronger maybe than some when it comes to the punitive part of it.”
  • Richt also spoke about Tray Matthews, the Bulldogs’ former safety who was dismissed from the team in June and transferred to Auburn. “Life’s too short.  They’re young men that make mistakes,” Richt said. “If somewhere along the way you learn from your mistake, you turn it around, finish your career strong, I’m happy for the guy.”

 

Magee on Doak Walker Award watch list

Terrence Magee is LSU's top returning running back.

Terrence Magee is LSU’s top returning running back.

Leonard Fournette hasn’t completely overshadowed things.

LSU running back Terrence Magee on Thursday was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list, an award that honors the best running back in the nation.

Given annually since 1989, the award’s watch list includes 53 players. Boston College’s Andre Williams won it last season.

Magee, a senior from Franklinton, is LSU’s top returning tailback. He ran for 626 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013, backing up starter Jeremy Hill.

Magee is expected to compete with Kenny Hilliard and Fournette, a true freshman, for the lead role at the position. Fournette was rated the No. 1 recruit in the nation.

All-SEC and SEC predicted order of finish

HOOVER, Ala. - Left tackle La’el Collins earned a first team All-SEC selection while LSU was picked to finish fifth overall in the SEC and third in the SEC West in media voting released Thursday at SEC media days.

The Tigers had nine other players make  All-SEC second or third teams team. Here’s the full list below and the predicted order of finish:

All-SEC

  • First team: LT La’el Collins
  • Second tream: LG Vadal Alexander, CB Tre’Davious White, K Colby Delahoussaye, RB Terrence Magee (special teams)
  • Third: P Jamie Keehn, Jemauria Rasco, LB Kwon Alexander, DB Corey Thompson, CB Rashard Robinson

SEC champion predicted order

  • 1 Alabama 154 votes
  • 2 Auburn 75
  • 3 South Carolina 32
  • 4 Georgia 19
  • 5 LSU 9
  • 6 Ole Miss 2
  • 7 Arkansas 1
  • 8 Mississippi State 1

SEC West predicted order

  • 1 Alabama 1,915 points
  • 2 Auburn 1,735
  • 3 LSU 1,453
  • 4 Ole Miss 1,069
  • 5 Mississippi State 890
  • 6 Texas A&M 791
  • 7 Arkansas 351